Moscow Culture Lab
Learn Russian, Live Moscow!
SRAS cultural programs are designed to give you a wide introduction to your city and to Russia as a whole. These structured experiences are laid-back, educational, and an opportunity for students to get to know each other.
Outside the Kremlin walls
as seen on the SRAS
Moscow Walking Tour!
Visiting Anton Chekhov's
grave at the Novodevichy
In our experience, however, most students prefer to save on the costs of organized activities and to have mostly free time – to study, to peruse independent interests, and to spend time with the friends they make from around the world while in Russia.
To strike a balance between these needs and wants, we offer several core activities, attendance to which is required and the cost of which is included in most programs (see the individual program pages for details). We also offer several optional experiences which are available at additional cost.
1. Included Events
Moscow Walking Tour
We will walk past the Tretyakovskaya Gallery, then over the river past great views of the Kremlin, through Red Square to Theatre Square (where the Bolshoi Theatre is), and end our tour in front of the world famous Moscow Art Theatre on Kamgerchesky Pr. On the way, we will talk about Russian and soviet history, and modern Russia’s economy, politics, and culture. The tour is eclectic and concentrates on issues you will never likely learn about by taking classes in America. Reasons why Russian development has historically lagged behind others', Russia’s agricultural policy and business climate, wedding traditions, and reasons why so many symbols of Russia's soviet past continue to be maintained on Russia's streets are some of the topics we will likely cover. Wear good walking shoes and be prepared to ask as many questions as you like!
Living and Working in Russia Seminar
We meet at a Georgian restaurant to sample some of the tastiest dishes from the former Soviet Union. Invited guests have included members of the US Foreign Service, and foreigners involved in research, entrepreneurship, management, finance, translation, and teaching English in Russia. We discuss in detail how one obtains the necessary documentation to live and work long-term in Russia. We then, with our guests, hold an open discussion on searching for jobs and housing, navigating the often-arduous Russian bureaucracy, and prospects in the Russian economy.
This guided tour walks you behind the Kremlin's red walls to explore the armory and the surrounding cathedrals. The armory is the former treasure-house of the Kremlin that still contains royal gifts, military hardware, clothing, carriages, and other riches from czarist times. The surrounding ensemble of cathedrals, with their touring spires and shining domes provide a still wider backdrop for your guide to discuss the history that has shaped modern Russia. For more information, see the museum website.
Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery
We explore this sixteenth-century convent for a brief discussion of Russia's political and religious history. We then move to the adjoining cemetery, which has for centuries been coveted as a place of burial for Russian elites. Here you can find everyone from Chekhov to Gogol, Khrushchev to Yeltsin, Tolstoy to Mayakovsky, Stanislavsky to Gorky, and Tupolev to Molotov. Everything you've learned about Russia will never seem more real.
During the summer and spring semesters we take an informal boat tour through central Moscow. We'll see the old Red October Chocolate Factory, Christ the Savior Cathedral, The Kremlin, Gorky Park, Vorobevy Hills, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow State University, the new Moscow City Financial District skyscrapers and more. The boat affords lots of great views, so bring your camera. SRAS Assistant Director Josh Wilson will be on hand to answer questions and point out buildings as we pass them, but the tour is really about enjoying the river with new friends. Beverages and snacks available for purchase on board.
Each semester, students are treated to one cultural performance. In this past, this has generally been a ballet such as Swan Lake, Giselle, or The Bright Stream. However, based on requests and scheduling, this could also be a puppet show, circus, jazz performance or even concerts by modern groups. Let us know what your interests are!
||Broaden your horizons
even further! Choosing a
program in Moscow
doesn't have to mean
missing St. Petersburg!
2. Optional Events
Trip out of Moscow
Each semester, we offer at least one day trip to a smaller city outside of Moscow. This trip is optional and not included in your program costs, but is generally somewhere between $40 and $80. In the past, locations have included Sergiev Posad, Tver, Star City, and Borovosk. Options are generally open, so tell your SRAS consultant if you have requests!
This optional trip brings you to St. Petersburg for two to three days, depending on school schedules. Cost differs by semester, but usually ranges between $300-400 and includes train fare, hostel accommodations, and our St. Petersburg Walking Tour and Tour of the Hermitage (see our St. Petersburg Cultural Program for more information on these tours).
Your Moscow coordinator will keep a close eye on events and let you know of other unique tours such as to the Taganskaya Cold War Bunker or the Bulgakov Tour, exciting Russian cultural events such as Maslenitsa festivities, the annual Honey Festival, expat functions such Fourth of July celebrations and Democrats Abroad meetings, and interesting seminars. These events are often available at little or no cost.
Find Out More!
Health and Safety in Russia
The SRAS Newsletter
Library: All About Russian
Eurasian Regions and Cities
Journal for Students
More Free Resources!
Questions or comments?